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The Swirl: February 13, 2017

Love is in the air this week. In case you forgot, Valentine's Day is tomorrow. Now is a good time to order flowers, get a card, or just buy some chocolate for yourself. You can thank us later. In this edition: genius preroll, all the za, and a new Alexa tool.

NUMBER OF THE WEEK

198,000,000 - the average number of rosesproduced each year for Valentine's Day. Not to mention the 180 million cards exchanged and 53% of women who would consider ending their relationship if they are not given a Valentine's Day gift. LOL.

For the impatient YouTube video watcher...

SwirlNotes: Geico is compressing their preroll ads (read: the videos that play before the “Skip Ad” button appears on YouTube) down to nothing, so you literally can't skip them. Crushin' it.

WHY IT MATTERS

Good content is good content - people will spend weekends on end binge watching their favorite Netflix shows. However, the minute that content becomes a disruption, all bets are off. And while some people do go to YouTube in search of ads, they definitely don't plan to be interrupted by one. So Geico's gone strategic in making the most of that disruption, distilling their message down to the barebones and in a way that's still informative, yet engaging.

For the pizza lovers...

SwirlNotes: Domino's now has a wedding registry. It might seem odd for a pizza company to tap into the wedding industry, but we all know there are some passionate pizza lovers out there who would prefer Domino's over a potholder. Sometimes a slice is the best way to celebrate love.

WHY IT MATTERS

Domino's has made quite the turnaround with its latest innovations. Things like emoji ordering, the ultimate pizza delivery vehicle, and a pizza tracker have helped this brand stand out from competitors. While they might seem silly, they are very much appreciated by their most loyal audience: pizza lovers. And the wedding registry is one more way Domino's can help this group out. There's nothing like sharing a slice of za or celebrating the big night with a late-night pie. Timely, given it was National Pizza Day last week and Valentine's Day tomorrow. Well done Domino's. We appreciate your dedication to the pizza loyalists out there.

For the socially conscious among us...or those who aspire to be

BROUGHT TO YOU BY GUEST SWIRLER: KENYA MADYUN, ACCOUNT SUPERVISOR

SwirlNotes: Amazon's Black Employee Network developed a new skill for Alexa that serves up black history facts when prompted. People are super geeked about the facts being read in the voice of real people, instead of by Alexa! Fist pound to Amazon for a seamless BHM integration that feels authentic.

WHY IT MATTERS

February is Black History Month, and while brands seem busy building campaigns for the Super Bowl and Valentine's Day, content surrounding BHM is scarce. We think this is because conversations surrounding topics like race relations in the U.S. are a lot harder to talk about than football and hearts. Taking a stance can be seen as divisive rather than an opportunity to engage in a meaningful and inspiring way. But it looks like Amazon has decided to be bold this year and take that risk. It's refreshing to see such a powerful and influential brand step up and create conversation around a topic that matters. We think it will pay off. Here's to taking a risk.

FINAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Amazon is a hot topic. You can now order Starbucks with Alexa too.